Ben Adler, the environmental writer for the Washington Post tells us that in the poorest developing nations, where many people live without electricity and other basic necessities, it is unrealistic to expect carbon emissions to drop.   The biggest issue is the lack the wealth and in some cases, the technological capacity to develop low-carbon electricity generation and transportation on the scale needed.  And that’s where he feels the United States and its wealthy allies come in.

Adler believes poorer countries can be induced with subsidies to make bolder commitments regarding climate change.  So it might be reasonable to ask, how does Mr. Adler know that and where does he get his information?  His answer – “Because they’ve said so.”  Adler writes, “In the Paris negotiations, developing nations were explicitly open to making more ambitious commitments if developed countries contributed to making them happen.  Some nations, including Mexico, went so far as to offer “conditional pledges” that they would make steeper emissions cuts if properly compensated.  At the time, Ajay Mathur, the director of India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency, said his country would “absolutely” transition more aggressively to renewables if it received sufficient international assistance.”

I’m sure Mr. Adler is sincere but we must questions how practical his comments are vis-à-vis the reality of the commitment then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made about this very topic eleven years ago.  On December 17th 2009 Mrs. Clinton promised that the United States would help raise $100 billion annually by 2020 to assist poor countries in coping with climate change as long as America’s demands for a global warming pledge are met.  Let’s discount the Trump years because even though our carbon emissions are decreasing and the U.S. and comprises just 15% of the world’s total, the president did pull us out of the Paris Climate Agreement.   So let’s just look at Mrs. Clinton’s promise from the perspective of the Obama administration whom she served and where she had a degree of control.  Well, 2020 has arrived, so exactly how much money did the United States, “help raise to assist poor counties” between December 2019 when Mrs. Clinton made her promise to the UN and when the Obama administration left office?  The answer should surprise no one – Nothing, Zero, Zilch, Nada!

Had the Obama administration kept Mrs. Clinton’s promise there would be almost a trillion dollars just waiting to be spent on solar panels, wind turbines and the infrastructure to support them.  So, I think a reasonable question an activist might ask is, why didn’t the Obama administration follow thru on Mrs. Clinton’s promise?

I’m not criticizing Hillary or Obama, I raise matter this to illustrate a point – when it comes to actually doing something to benefit humankind, talk is cheap and it appears the Left is more interested in talking than actually delivering on its promises.